(1) Leash law enforcement: At the end of the day, despite Crescent City landlords being largely unneighborly towards man’s best friend, New Orleans remains a dog town. Aside I’ll note, despite the terrible idea it is to bring bow wow to any Mardi Gras parade (including Barkus!), plenty did so anyway. But take a cue from lines 200-204:
“Dogs which are properly licensed and vaccinated as stipulated in this chapter may be allowed outside of an enclosure if under a secure leash and accompanied by their owner or keeper but are not to be allowed to trespass upon any public property, if so prohibited by another ordinance, or upon private property. Designated dog parks or “off-leash” areas are exempt from the provisions of this section.”
Unless designated as a leash free site, keep your pooch at your side via a leash, right? Ha! I’m looking long and hard at you daily denizens of Coliseum Square. If you’ve never witnessed the rampant lack of leash use, spend 5 minutes at this Lower Garden spot during any given daypart and get an eyeful. Or ever attend a weekend art market around the city? Ain’t so rare to catch a canine sans tether thereabouts neither. The ordinance clearly must be referring to another city altogether.
(2) Noise enforcement: So, where’s the abatement? For all 43 pages worth of definitions, explanations, and scenarios there is nary a peep about a pooch being a possible public nuisance in the vein of breaching one’s quiet enjoyment. What do I mean? That yappy dog in your neighbor’s dog, of course! You would think that after 50 years (yes, apparently the last time this ordinance took on any new energy was five decades ago), barking might finally be curbed as a measurable nuisance. Why else would a rooster be classified as “exotic” and their keeping be “prohibited” (lines 48 and 381-384) and the hen skates? Only roosters crow and are therefore a nuisance. What do hens do? They make a little fuss now and then, but not like her manfriend before dawn. There is no other plausible explanation. Clearly what’s good for roosters is not also good for all canines.
(3) Feces enforcement: Poo patrol anyone? Krewe of doo pour vous? I didn’t think so. It remains apparent not all dog owners are created equal in their fecal collection savvy, and what a shame. It’s basically the same as littering, is it not? Shouldn’t it therefore be a fineable offense?
What this ordinance doesn’t tell you is there is actually city code presently in place that provides measurable enforcement on all three of these things, but who and when pray tell are they ever enforced? They’re not, at least not that I’ve been witness to. One might imagine also this modified ordinance might reference or strengthen the existing code in terms of these enforcements so as to negate rants like mine. Why else all the fuss over a smallish update to standing law? For me, I just want dogs leashed where they should be, heard on a reasonable level, and kept after routinely. That’s all.
And if you can keep my neighbors’ hounds silent after 10 p.m., that’d be swell too.
Jean-Paul Villere is the owner of Villere Realty and Du Mois Gallery on Freret Street and a married father of four girls. In addition to his Wednesday column at UptownMessenger.com, he also shares his family’s adventures sometimes via pedicab or bicycle on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.